Nov 29, 2012

Picture of the Day: The African Wild Dog




african wild dog lycaon pictus Picture of the Day: The African Wild Dog

Photograph by Morkel Erasmus


Lycaon pictus is a canid found only in Africa, especially in savannahs and lightly wooded areas. It is variously called the African wild dog, African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog, painted dog, painted wolf, painted hunting dog, spotted dog, or ornate wolf.

It is the largest African canid and is the world’s second largest extant wild canid behind only the gray wolf. It is the only canid species to lack dewclaws on the forelimbs.

The African wild dog hunts in packs and small groups. Like most members of the dog family, it is a cursorial hunter, meaning that it pursues its prey in a long, open chase. Nearly 80% of all wild dog hunts end in a kill; for comparison, the success rate of lions, often viewed as ultimate predators, is only 30%. [Source: Wikipedia]

This amazing portrait was taken by Morkel Erasmus in Zimbabwe. He says he took the shot while lying on his belly in Mana Pools National Park.



picture of the day button Picture of the Day: The African Wild Dog